Why I write YA novels/Why I write for teens?
The stepping-stones of life are in the moments you can’t seem to forget: embarrassing and awkward conversations, the shifts and changes in friendships and relationships, the development of self through good and bad experiences: that boy/girl you shouldn’t have gone near, that boy/girl you wished you were more like instead of your ‘stupid boring self’ (not my words!), that random job you had to get yourself a bit of money to go to the movies, that stupid thing your parents said in front of your friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/
teacher/neighbour/anyone – you just remember how lame it was, all the hot chips you ate with friends on the beach during endless summers, discussing those big picture issues you thought were so clear-cut at the time but soon realised they weren’t at all and still aren’t.
Teenagers are in the throes of learning the biggest lesson of all: life isn’t simple, it isn’t always black and white. It’s multiple and varied shades of grey. If you mix these shades of grey you might end up getting close to black or white, but in the end, it’s the darkening of themselves around the edges and the ways in which they bend and break that will make young adults more wholesome and refined people; people that others will want to be around and who will contribute greatly to society when given the awesome opportunity.
I love the unabashed honesty of teenagers, the eyebrow-raising comments said with self-confidence and vulnerability mixed equally. They are passionate, opinionated, energetic people, and that is why it was easy to write Friendship on Fire. All I had to do was think about what I would have said, or would say, if I was still at that age. In some ways, it was a liberating experience. Teenagers are not only funny, self-deprecating, brave, and resilient, they are also very fascinating and versatile people to write about.
I hope teenagers who read my novel discover themselves a little bit more, and just how interesting they really are, in a grey, unique kind of way.
Danielle Weiler is an innovative history teacher living in Perth, Western Australia. She is inspired every day by teenagers who are trying to find their unique identity in life. A serial diary writer, Danielle attributes much of her writing to having a large family, with five older brothers who endlessly entertain her. She wrote her first story book when she was six years old.
Danielle is credited with being the editor of her university’s magazine as well as being president of her graduating class. Her writing encompasses the modern young adult and the difficulties of growing up in an unapologetic, competitive world. Danielle hopes this book will delight and satisfy the reader’s imagination.
Danielle is attached to a loving husband, who is the funniest and most patient person she’s met. She is owned by a very affectionate ranga cat named Toppy.
Danielle also has a passion for Redskins.
To win a signed copy of Friendship on Fire, just leave a comment with your email, telling me why you like to read YA novels? Giveaway is international and ends on Sunday 10th April.